The legacy of a dorm room

The bench in front of Schenley Hall may be vacant of its most famous resident, but Old Man Schenley’s room is now occupied by two GW sophomores.

Eddie Bieber, known to many students as Old Man Schenley, passed away this summer and, in less than three months, the University quickly renovated his room and assigned to it two new residents.

“We still didn’t believe we were living in (Bieber’s) room,” Jamie Ramacciotti said. “We looked his address up on White Pages because we wouldn’t believe anybody until we found out for ourselves.”

The two students were not notified they would be moving into Bieber’s room, said Nancy Haaga, the managing director of Campus Support Services. When Ramacciotti and Lindsay Schutter arrived at their fall housing assignment, their room had no furniture, internet or cable hookups. Although the University renovated the kitchen and cleaned and painted the room, Ramacciotti and Schutter were still stunned to be living in Bieber’s old apartment.

“People keep asking me where I am living this year,” Ramacciotti said. “And instead of just saying ‘Schenley,’ I say Old Man Schenley’s room … I think it’s so cool.”

Bieber was well-known throughout campus, put a handful of original residents still also live in GW residence halls including 2109 F Street, The Aston and The West End. When GW acquired apartment buildings occupied by permanent residents, the University took over responsibility as their landlord, Haaga said.

“(GW) is faithful in fulfilling those responsibilities,” Haaga said. “These include its contractual obligations under the leases and District law and regulations.”

During the transition period, many residents chose to stay due to the apartments’ location and low rent.

Haaga would not disclose the rents the residents pay to the University. In 2005, The Hatchet reported that Bieber paid $203 a month for rent. Most apartments in Foggy Bottom have rents exceeding $1,000 a month.

Larry Knauss, a retired steward for a law firm in Georgetown, continues to live in The West End on Eye Street. He has lived on the second floor of the building for 20 years and does not plan to move in the near future. But Knauss said living with college students is not an ideal situation.

“It is horrible living with students,” Knauss said. “They are more than too loud, and I have to (file complaints) sometimes on Fridays.”

Anna Stukes, a resident of The West End for 16 years, lives on the second floor with a roommate. She has lived in The West End since she moved to D.C. Stukes said she has no trouble living with students and has been pleased with most of her neighbors.

“I think the University has calmed them down,” she said. “It’s not a problem at all.”

The University did not offer Stukes enough money to move out, she said, and she will continue living in The West End as long as possible. Stukes said she thinks the University will eventually evict the non-student tenants.

“I really love the area and I would like to stay here,” she said.

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